As we move into wheat planting season here in Kansas, seed treatments are strongly advised for seed that is being saved from previous seasons.


During the 2019-2020 season, we saw higher-than-normal levels of common bunt and loose smut throughout the state. Common bunt, in particular, can result in both yield and quality loss. Many producers received discounts on their wheat after the 2020 harvest. Fungicide seed treatments are an important tool to avoid even larger losses in the 2020-2021 growing season.


Low-quality wheat can result not only in losses for individual producers but can also dramatically reduce the quality of grain destined for the market.


"These diseases have market implications," said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations for Kansas Wheat. "There were instances this past harvest of farmers receiving discounts at their local elevator because of bunt and smut problems."


The good news is that common bunt and loose smut are effectively controlled with the use of seed treatments. In particular, I recommend products that have at least the active ingredient difenoconazole (trade names: Cruiser Maxx Vibrance Cereals, Vibrance Extreme, Salient TMI and Dividend Extreme).


— Ryan Flaming is a Kansas State Research and Extension agent for Harvey County. Agriculture is his specialty. He can be reached at 316-284-6930.